Giovanni Rinaldi is President of the national cooperative consortium Cooptecnital, which promotes the innovation and digital technology among Italian cooperatives. As a journalist, Rinaldi worked for the main Italian economic news magazines and the press service of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At present, he is in charge of Legacoop’s national programs for energy and innovation. In 2012, he wrote the “Cooperative Commons Manifesto” which proposed that Internet users should get organized in co-ops to ensure that their data are being protected. In a cooperative, users will be able to easily self-manage their data and negotiate their economic value in a democratic and mutualistic way.

In Italy, we’ve started creating new enterprises based on digital platforms that are owned by users and workers who help safeguard digital workers’ rights and share in the profits. Currently, our cooperatives are creating a Cooperative Identity Provider for our 10 million members. This project which help them to recognize that digital identity can in fact be linked to their values.

Our next project is a worldwide, shared network of digital data generated by 100 million cooperatives. This would involve creating a large database of interactions between cooperatives and members. We’re also working on A Digital Cooperative Contract that would allow “millennials” to work ethically without setting up a cooperative, by means of a digital contract shared with their employer that provides a set of cooperative rules and principles.